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‘BONKERS’ PLANNING DECISION SEES SALFORD COUNCIL APPROVE UNAFFORDABLE FLATS BUT REJECT AFFORDABLE FLATS
 

Star date: 6th July 2018

CANON GREEN COURT DEVELOPMENT THROWN INTO UNCERTAINTY AS COUNCILLOR SLATES 'BONKERS' PLANNING DECISION

At yesterday's planning panel of Salford City Council, councillors approved plans for almost 300 private rent flats in Lower Broughton, and then rejected plans from Salix Homes for over 100 affordable rent flats at Canon Green Court.

Councillor Peter Wheeler, addressing the panel, said the decision was "bonkers". It had, of course, nothing to do with Fred Done and Urban Splash developments nearby.

Full details here... 


Yesterday, councillors sitting on Salford Council's planning panel had two decisions to make on developments in central Salford.

The first was centred on Countryside Properties' scheme for 299 private rent apartments in Lower Broughton that contained no affordable housing.*

The second was centred on Salix Homes re-applying for planning permission for 108 rent to buy 'affordable' apartments in the grounds of Canon Green Court and Westminster House after the application was rejected at the previous planning meeting.**

The Countryside Properties scheme was approved. The Salix Homes application was rejected again, despite modifications, on design grounds at the bidding of panel chair Councillor Ray Mashiter, on a close vote of six to four.

While the Salix development isn't popular with some social rent tenants who live in Canon Green Court, and the future flats were to be targeted at 'young professionals', at least there was some kind of affordability linked to the scheme via a proposed rent-to-buy scheme.

The decision was described by some of those who attended the meeting as "odd" and "strange", and even Councillor Derek Antrobus, head of planning, voted in favour of the Salix application against the advice of Councillor Mashiter.

Councillor Peter Wheeler summed it up to the panel when he said "It's bonkers. One minute we're bemoaning the lack of affordable houses at a scheme in Broughton, and then within ten minutes we're turning down over one hundred affordable properties less than a mile away."

It's almost as if affordable housing near Chapel Street is not wanted by the powers that be. Very close to the Salix Homes scheme is Fred Done's Blackfriars blocks of unaffordable flats currently being erected, and the Urban Splash blocks of unaffordable flats that were granted planning permission at last month's meeting.

A cynic might argue that the Salix Homes block would undercut these schemes, with a more attractive financial offer to prospective renters/buyers. But that would be cynical. Meanwhile, Salix Homes is expected to appeal the decision, and is 'exploring options'...

"We are disappointed by the decision of Salford Council's Planning Panel to refuse planning approval for a development that would refurbish the homes of our tenants at Canon Green and Westminster Courts and provide more than one hundred new affordable homes in the city" Sue Sutton, executive director of operations at Salix Homes told the Salford Star.

"We've ensured that our residents have been involved with our development proposals every step of the way and we remain fully committed to the refurbishment of our existing units" she added "We will now be exploring our options with colleagues at the council to ensure this decision does not get in the way of the essential improvement work to the existing blocks."

For a full background see previous Salford Star articles...

* Developer Avoids Affordable Housing Provision in Lower Broughton – click here

** Salix Homes 108 Rent To Buy Apartments at Canon Green Court – click here and Salix Homes Canon Green Decision Deferred – click here

Former resident wrote
at 07:18:17 on 11 July 2018
I wonder if there is some sort of split going on in Salford Labour Party. Just think.Perhaps 2 or 3 at most Torys on panel.Which ever way they vote, it doesn't matter, and this site is miles away from their voters. Perhaps the ones in Labour who know this is not affordable, are the ones who voted against, perhaps in a bid to draw attention to the other ones who voted in favour, so as to expose their polocies on affordability. When it comes to backstabbing Labour can show the Tories a trick or two. The tories do it openly Labour don't.
 
Joey wrote
at 21:13:34 on 08 July 2018
To F.DONE "Esq" (though I doubt that is who you are) you state "Let us Rob your Communal Public Sector Grounds to Hive-Off to the Private Sector". When I was a child in the 50's the location of these proposed flats was a row of Victorian shops with flats above. They were demolished sometime in the 80's and the area given to the block of flats as communal grounds. So no, it is not Communal Public Sector Grounds, it is private land plundered and purloined using public money which was then fenced in for the benefit of a select few at Cannon Green Court. I have NEVER seen anyone use this part of the communal grounds, and it should be put to better use. Whether the proposed building and its new residents would be best use is debatable, but it should be built on, preferably to provide truly affordable homes. To SS, if it really was refused because of site permeability, that is preposterous. At the moment the whole site and Cannon Green Court are surrounded by an impenetrable metal railing perimeter.
 
bob wrote
at 11:28:05 on 07 July 2018
" rents would be 80% of free market rate which they said was around £800 per month". that around £200 per week, who can afford that?. Someone is living in fantasy land making statements like that.
 
Former resident wrote
at 06:59:53 on 07 July 2018
I cannot get my head round this one.I was dead against the scheme in the first place. It is an over development, and it is for sure not affordable. Salix said rents would be 80% of free market rate which they said was around £800 per month. After 5 years they said people could buy the flats. These would not have been at a discount. A 2 bed flat there would be £180k to £200k. They would rely on inertia of people not wanting to move out. A big rip off to fuel the big wages of the Salix high command. Rest assured though, this mad scheme will go ahead. That is unless there is some funny games going on between the council and Salix that we do not know about.
 
F.DONE "Esq" wrote
at 06:59:36 on 07 July 2018
"Sue Sutton" Executive Director of Operations at Salix knows that when a Flat in Canon Green becomes vacant, that Flat is TOTALY REFURBISHED then Let out to over 30 Year Old who must be Employed. Meanwhile the existing Tenants get "CHOICE" when asking for Decent living Standard regards the currents state & quality of the Flats they Pay Full Rent for & Live in now! Let us Rob your Communal Public Sector Grounds to Hive-Off to the Private Sector or you can go Whistle & keep Living in squalor... Democracy : two Wolves & one Sheep around the table debating what to have for Tea...
 
Salford Star wrote
at 06:58:46 on 07 July 2018
See Joey's comment below...That's because, until the minutes are produced, nobody seems to know the exact causes and reasons. Something to do with the permeability of the site, if that helps
 
Joey wrote
at 06:56:14 on 07 July 2018
What were the reasons given for refusal? It seems odd to refuse this scheme but not others. I would like to know why they refused it so that I can make my mind up whether I agree with them or not. The article doesn't give me enough information to adequately assess the decision.
 
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